The drones’ taken off
Did you know that FAA forecasts a 200% increase growth in the use of drones (UAS) by 2020? Yes, you had that right!! Drones have taken off, literally, and you don’t have to look around much to know why: They are simply COOL! Drones not only serve as great toys to fuel a hobby or sport but have also revolutionized how we capture images and videos. They are fun to fly. You can buy a drone to perform amazing rolls and flops to kill weekend boredom, record stunning videos, and even train it to follow you, taking amazing photos of you and your loved ones; drones come in handy, and we want to tell you all about them.
Are you a beginner, pro, or an adrenaline junky? Here are the reviews on the seven best drones across the board.
|Drone Name||Camera Type||Resolution||Megapixles|
|DJI Mavic Pro||Integrated with Gimbal for better Image Stabilization||Upto 4k||12 Megapixels|
|Phantom 4||Integrated with Gimbal||Upto 4k||14 Megapixels|
|YUNEEC Typhoon H||Integrated with Gimbal||UHD 4K||12 Megapixels|
|Autel Robotics X-Star||Conventional Gimbal Integration||UHD 4k||12 Megapixels|
|DJI Phantom 3||Integrated with Gimbal||Upto 4k||12 Megapixels|
|Parrot AR 2.0 Power Edition||Integrated with Gimbal||720p||14 Megapixels|
|Inspire 2||Integrated with Gimbal||1080p||30 Megapixels|
|Parrot Disco FPV||Integrated in body||1080p||-|
|DJI Phantom 4 Pro||Integrated with Gimbel||UHD 4k||20 Megapixels|
|Parrot Bebop 2||Integrated in body||1080p||14 Megapixels|
The best camera drone: The DJI Mavic Pro 4k
The DJI Mavic Pro 4k model is a portable and powerful quadcopter and among the best rated. The model comes with a compact folding design that enables you to fold it down to the size of a water bottle. This compact nature makes it possible to quickly pack the drone and have it with you everywhere you go.
The drone’s camera enables you to take high-quality pictures of up to 12 megapixels, videos of 1080p at 96 frames per second (fps) and 4k videos at 30fps. Images of 1080p can be transmitted to your smartphone in real time. To ensure stability, the DJI Mavic Pro 4K has a three-axis mechanical supporting gimbal that ensures the camera remains still as the drone flies. The gimbal can move the camera both horizontally and vertically from 0 to 90 degrees as well as make a pitch of -90 to +30 degrees.
The DJI Mavic Pro 4K can achieve a flight time of 27 minutes powered by its 3830mAh battery can fly fast up to the speed of 40mph. For those in possession of CAA/IAA permit, they can enjoy flying the drone up to 4.3 miles.
The control and performance of the drone are superior to other drones as it has 24 high-performance computing cores for the best experience. The drone comes with five vision sensors that can sense objects within 15m enabling it to slow down and hover away from them to avoid causing an accident.
The DJI Mavic Pro 4K has simplified the flying mode of the drone through the Tap-Fly and Active-Track features. The active track feature allows you to choose an object that the drone will aim its focus on while you fly. Tap fly works by letting you choose an area in the DJI GO 4 app from your connected smart phone’s screen, and the drone will fly to the destination on its own.
The best intermediate drone: The Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon
The Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon drone comes as a ready-to-fly drone right from the package and is suitable for intermediate drone enthusiasts.
The drone comes with a CGO3 camera with a 130 degrees rotation view. This integrated anti-vibration three-axis gimbal that has a 90 degrees adjustable angle view enables you to capture smooth videos in 4K, photos in 12 Mega Pixels as well as 1080p-120 fps slow motion videos. The camera also has a digital video downlink that lets your smartphone act as an image viewfinder. This, in essence, means that through the 5.8GHz downlink, you can view live images from the drone’s camera on your smartphone by using the free CGO app.
The Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon has a sleek design that makes it easily portable, as its legs and camera are easy to dismantle and re-assemble. It also comes packaged in a rugged transport case that accommodates the entire drone, the ST10+ controller, two sets of props, two batteries, the Steady Grip and all accessories.
The drone’s remote control, the 2.4 Ghz ST10+ ground station, has a unique design with impressive qualities. It has an Android=powered 5.5-inch display touch screen on one-half, and a joystick on the other half. The touchscreen lets you monitor live images from the camera connected on the drone and adjust the camera settings. The remote control also has shutter buttons to enable a quick capture of photos and videos.
The Steady-Grip device that comes with the drone is a hand-held device that ensures that the process of taking images on the ground is as smooth as taking pictures while in the air. Through the CGO3 app, you will be able to control the SteadyGrip to capture images, record videos and control the camera.
The drone is powered by a 5400mAh- LiPo battery. This unique battery is extremely light and gives the drone a flight time of up to an incredible 20-25 minutes.
The DJI Inspire 2.0
If you are a professional, you could consider the DJI Inspire 2.0. The DJI Inspire 2.0 is fit for professional use whether by filmmakers or aerial videographers.
The DJI Inspire 2.0 quadcopter comes with a rotor span of averagely 1.2 feet between each motor and weighs close to 7.2 pounds. Each motor has a magnesium aluminum composite shell and carbon fiber arms that enable the drone to function under any weather conditions as well as enhanced durability.
The drone runs on a dual battery set-up that provides the drone with the flight time of up to 27 minutes while powering the cameras, sensors, and stabilizers. The DJI Inspire 2.0 can achieve an average speed of 45mph while on air and can fly to a height of 16,400 feet.
The DJI Inspire 2.0 does not come with a high-definition camera hence will require you to purchase camera lenses. However, the quadcopter comes with a Zenmuse X5S onboard camera model that supports different lens changes up to 5.2K quality motion pictures in Cinema DNG format. The drone also comes packed with a 16 GB Micro SD card for storage.
The remote control of the DJI Inspire drone can control the drone within the range of 7KM. It can switch signal frequency between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 Ghz using the light bridge technology.
For better filming, the DJI Inspire can fly in ActiveTrack mode. This mode enables the drone to sense and identify objects quickly from people to bikes to locomotives. The drone can also detect obstacles averagely 30 meters ahead allowing it to create a different route to take to avoid causing accidents and collisions.
The DJI Inspire 2.0 has a unique feature enabled known as the smart-return-to-home feature. This feature is to be used if the drone loses the video transmission signal. When enabled, this feature will allow your drone to return home following its original path. The original path is created by the drone using its advanced technology to creating a real-time map of its route as it flies.
How to choose the best drone?
What should you be on the lookout for when you decide to purchase a drone?
Here are a few considerations that you should make
Purpose of the drone
What exactly do you want to do with the drone you want to purchase? The type of drone to buy should be able to achieve the purposes you intend for it.
There are four major types of drones based on functionality in the market:
- Beginner drones,
- Photo/Video drones,
- Toy drones and
- FPV racing drones.
Once you decide on the major function you want the drone to perform; you are ready to look at the drones available for that purpose.
Mode of assembling the drone
There are three broad categories of drones when it comes to how they are assembled.
These categories are:
- RTF- Ready To Fly. These drones come fully assembled and only require the charging of the batteries to get your drone up in the air.
- ARF- Almost Ready to Fly. These drones come in parts and require the owner to assemble the parts for the drone to be able to fly. Such drones appeal more to Do-It Yourself lovers and hobbyists of drones.
- BNF, the Bind-N-Fly. The drones come packaged with everything except for a transmitter. To enable the owner to use the transmitter of their choice then bind it to the receiver that comes with the drone model.
iii.Flight time. Though the flight time of all drones in relatively short, it varies among models from as little as 5 minutes to up to 30 minutes. The flight time indicated on drones is usually based on tests done in ideal conditions, thus, for estimations that are more realistic, subtract five to ten minutes from the states time. This will predict the flight time to expect when you take the drone home.
Availability of drone accessories and spare parts
The spending on a drone does not end with the purchase of it; this is merely the beginning.
After you buy a drone, there will be the need to add some accessories and spare parts. It is important to know the cost and availability of spare parts of the model purchased. Ideally, you will require some extra batteries, extra propellers, and a quick charger. In the event of crashing your drone, which is more likely to occur often, there will be costs to be incurred in replacing damaged parts or getting the drone back to the manufacturer for repair.
Look out for drone models that come with a crash insurance policy. It’s an added advantage
It is important first to put down a budget of how much you are willing to spend on a drone. The best drones do not necessarily have to be the most expensive ones.
While making considerations on the initial purchase cost, remember to factor in the additional costs to be incurred concerning spare parts that do not come with the drone package. With a set budget, it is much easier to decide on the drone type to purchase and weigh the various options available.
Different types of drones need varying levels of skills to operate and fly. This is a key consideration to make. You do not want to purchase a drone only for you to end up frustrated.
Small and cheaper drones do not necessarily also fall into the beginner’s category, although, they may require expert skills to keep on air.
Consider your level of competence along with the flying mode of the drone presented whether it is a headless mode, follow-me mode or integrated GPS mode. These models have different capabilities in aiding you to fly your drone.
What drone is the perfect pick for you?
Even when you have no good reason for buying one, you have to admit that drones are indeed cool. Most of the models we have highlighted here are suitable for use in hobbyist and commercial cinematic and imaging applications, whether small or large.
You now know all that there is to know about the best-rated drones. So, what’s stopping you from getting the done you want? Go out there and get yourself the best drone but if you would love a pointer; how about you give the DJI Mavic Pro a try.